The following is a fact-check from the August 8, 2010 episode of Meet the Press:
ANDREA MITCHELL (NBC) | The debt commission was set up only after mostly Republican senators, who had previously supported it, abandoned the legislation. – TRUE
MS. MITCHELL: The reason the president appointed the debt commission was because some senators who had supported it… REP. FORD: Republican senators… MS. MITCHELL: …including mostly Republican senators, abandoned it. So they couldn’t pass the legislation which would have a debt commission with teeth.
Up for a vote back in January of 2010, the Conrad/Gregg commission proposal would have created the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action. It was co-sponsored by Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH), the top Democrat and the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. It would have established an 18-member bipartisan commission to study the current and future fiscal condition of the federal government and make recommendations about how to cut the bulging deficit. The recommendations would have been voted on in the House and Senate floors under a special procedure.
The New York Times reported that President Obama endorsed the Senate bill to create a bipartisan budget commission, whose recommendations for cutting deficits would have to be voted on by Congress. But he also remained ready to establish a panel by executive order if the effort to do so by law failed.
PolitiFact reports that the measure would have passed with 60 votes if only seven additional Republicans who had co-sponsored the Conrad/Gregg proposal had voted for it. Instead, the seven senators — Robert Bennett of Utah, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Mike Crapo of Idaho, John Ensign of Nevada, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and John McCain of Arizona — withdrew their co-sponsorship in the days before the vote and then voted against it on the floor.
After the failed Conrad/Gregg proposal, President Obama followed through with what he had said and released an executive order to create a non-partisan commission to slash the deficit. Thus, we rate Ms. Mitchell’s statement TRUE.
The following fact-check took combined 1 hour.